It is 1860, in the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Othello is an Ainu, one of the indigenous people of northern Japan. He falls in love with a Japanese woman and is betrayed by a friend (Iago) of mixed Ainu and Japanese heritage.
Lies, manipulation and discrimination are the steadfast roots of jealousy in this epic performance of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy.
Ainu Othello is adapted by Kazumi Shimodate, Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Company Japan.
Co-directed by Kazumi Shimodate and Ainu theatre director Debo Akibe, this spectacular production has been staged in Sendai, Tokyo, and Sapporo, opening powerful discussions about discrimination faced by the Ainu, and the prospects for new relationships in the modern era. Each performance will be preceded by a presentation from the Dance Group Piricap.
An official event of the Japan Season of Culture in the UK, Ainu Othello is a rare opportunity to see how Shakespeare remains a contemporary chronicler of human prejudices in another part of the globe.
Performed in Japanese with English subtitles